Turkey’s foreign minister will pay official visits to the Caribbean region next week, the ministry said Friday. 

Mevlut Cavusoglu will attend the inauguration Sunday of Dominican Republic’s President-elect Luis Abinader Corona, according to a statement that said Abinader will receive Cavusoglu after the ceremony.

Cavusoglu will also meet his US counterpart, Mike Pompe, who will also be in the Dominican Republic and the two will discuss the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, according to Turkish diplomatic sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The Turkish diplomat is also expected to have meetings with other heads of state and foreign ministers who will attend the ceremony.

He will visit Haiti on Monday and meet Foreign Minister Claude Joseph, before being received by Prime Minister Joseph Jouthe and President Jovenel Moise.

On the last leg of the regional tour, he will stop in Venezuela to have meetings Tuesday with Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, President Nicolas Maduro and Vice President Delcy Rodriguez.

The meetings are expected to focus on bilateral relations, as well as regional and international issues.

“In addition to the signing of bilateral agreements, a joint declaration on the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Venezuela will also be signed,” the statement said.

During his visit to Greece earlier Friday, Pompeo stressed the urgent need to reduce tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.

In a press conference in Switzerland the same day, Cavusoglu stressed that Turkey wanted to resolve disputes in the region amicably and through dialogue.

– Eastern Mediterranean

Earlier this week, Turkey resumed energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean after Greece and Egypt signed a controversial maritime delimitation deal.

The agreement came one day after Ankara said it would postpone oil and gas exploration as a goodwill gesture.

But after declaring the Greek-Egyptian deal “null and void,” Turkey authorized the Oruc Reis seismic research vessel to continue its activities in an area within the country’s continental shelf.

The ship will continue the two-week mission until Aug. 23 along with the ships Cengiz Han and Ataman.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the only solution to the dispute was through dialogue and negotiation and urged Athens to respect Ankara’s rights.

Turkey has consistently opposed Greece’s efforts to declare an exclusive economic zone based on small islands near Turkish shores, violating the interests of Turkey, the country with the longest coastline in the Mediterranean.

*Writing by Havva Kara Aydin

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